« AnteriorContinuar »
But other fair ladies
At my eyes overflow,
Winceslaus, King of Bohemia; Otto, Margrave of Brandenburg, and the Count of Toggenburg, furnish each a little poem to the volume. We cannot pass unnoticed the following graceful stanzas attributed to Steinmar, of whose history nothing is known:
With the graceful corn upspringing,
Every thing I'll do and be,
She is one in whom I find
She is bright as morning sun,
Every thing I'll do and be,
The most curious piece in the whole collection is that which is ascribed to Henry, Duke of Breslau, who reigned from
1266 to 1269.
To thee, O May, I must complain,
And Meadow, dazzling bright to see!
And thee, too, Love! my song shall be
"What is the wrong? stand forth and tell us what ;
Yet, would ye all with one consent
Lend me your aid, she might repent:
Then for kind heaven's sake hear, and give me back content!
She lets my fancy feed on bliss;
But when, believing in her love,
I seek her passion's strength to prove,
She lets me perish, merciless:
Her from whose love such misery doth ensue !
"I, May, will strait my flowers command;
No more for her their charms expand."
"And I, bright Summer, will restrain
The birds' sweet throats; their tuneful notes
"When on the Plain she doth appear,
Thus crost, perchance to thee she'll turn again her ear."
"And I, the Mead, will help thee too;
Gazing on me, her fate shall be,
That my bright charms shall blind her view."
"And I, the Greenwood, break my bowers
"I Sun, will pierce her frozen heart,
Till from the blaze of my bright rays
"I, Love, will banish instantly
Whatever dear and sweet I bear,
Alas! must all her joys thus flee?
Nay, rather I would joyless die,
"Seek'st thou revenge?" saith Love," then at my nod
Nay then! Oh leave her not thus shorn of bliss;
Then follow the Watch Songs,' a species of ballad, describing stolen interviews between lovers, while a sentinel is appointed to keep watch, and, on the approach of morning, to give the signal of parting. These songs of the Minnesingers are ornamented by some curious engravings of illuminations, which are prefixed to them in the Manesse MS., and they are followed by specimens of the works of the Provençal Troubadours by way of illustration. The first of these examples is written by the Countess de Die: she lived in the twelfth century, and was the belle amie of Rambaud d'Aurenga, another Troubadour of great celebrity. Here also is Pons de Capdueil, the most unhappy of Troubadours, and unfortunate of lovers; who, all his life attached to the wife of another, had the misery to survive her loss, and finished his days before the Holy Sepulchre. Here is Bernard de Ventadour, the lover of our Queen Elinor, wife of Henry II. Bertrand de Born, the haughty, restless, daring, "satirical knave," who now rousing men to blood and plunder, by the force of his numbers, and anon pouring forth words that wept, at the feet of his mistress, filled all
Europe with his fame. Here, too, is the royal Alphonso of Arragon, Arnaud de Marveil, Pierre Vidal, the tradesman of Toulouse, of whom nobles were jealous, and who, following Richard of the Lion Heart to Palestine, was by turns his minstrel and the butt of his court. Many others there are, all remarkable, either for the singularity of their characters and fortunes, or the beautiful effusions of their genius and feelings. Passing these, we come to a history of the Trouveres, or writers of romances and tales. Among these stars of early literature, who has not heard of Thibaud, the monarch, crusader, poet, and friend of Raoul of Soissons, a Trouvere of almost equal celebrity? To the latter belongs the following little song:
"Ah! beauteous maid,
Pearl of the world
The following beautiful stanzas are attributed to Barbe de Verrue:
The wise man sees his winter close
Like evening on a summer day;
Its mournful moments and its gay.
To rest in peace at eventide.›
The gazing crowds proclaim'd me fair,
Though now perhaps a little old,
The noontide heat in yonder shade;
Sweet echoing through the woodland glade.
I joy too (though the idle crew
The listening circle round regalę.
These butterflies in youth elate,
Where thousand such have met their fate.'
Some particulars are given, at the end of the volume, of the establishment of the Song Schools,' which marked the decline of German poetry. A few of the popular German ballads are also translated with the same spirit and occasional elegance, which the reader cannot fail to have observed, in the specimens already presented to his notice.
ART. III. A Critical Enquiry regarding the real Author of the
HERE are no questions, that more strongly illustrate the intermixture of fallibility and of penetration in our reasoning faculty, than those which depend for their decision upon circumstantial evidence. Proof of that description is more apt than any other, to bear down those habits of distrust with which experience teaches us to receive such testimony, as is valuable only in proportion to the credibility of the witness. A few striking facts, when they seem to result from the same cause, or to lead to the same purpose, operate on the mind so instantaneously, that we feel conviction frequently without being able to justify, or explain, the reasons upon which it is founded.